On Tuesday, the Ministry of Finance filed a report against the top officials of the Tax Authorities for their role in the allowance affair. There are suspicions of two possible crimes, it is stated in a letter sent to the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
This concerns the official crime of gagging and the crime of professional discrimination. The Public Prosecution Service (OM) investigates the declaration.
The declaration is aimed at those involved with those responsible for the controversial fraud approach of Combiteam Approach Facilitators (CAF) and the Supplements department in the period from 2013 to 2017.
The step follows after an investigation by criminal lawyer Hendrik-Jan Biemond, who, at the request of the ministry, has investigated possible official crimes at the tax authorities. According to Biemond, it is suspected that the Tax and Customs Administration is guilty of discrimination by conducting further investigations based on origin.
Gagging is when an official abuses his position and wrongly reclaims or fails to return money when he knows it is not right. The maximum penalty for gagging is six years in prison.
SP wants parliamentary inquiry: ‘The cesspool must be completely open’
State Secretary Alexandra van Huffelen states that she realizes that the declaration has a major impact. “Hopefully, this sweeping step will help to justly close this chapter that is painful for so many.”
In November last year, the House of Representatives asked then-Secretary of State Menno Snel to conduct a criminal investigation against tax officials. In a response, SP Member of Parliament Renske Leijten speaks of a first step and rightly mentions that a report has been made. “But the cesspool must be completely open, because there are also politically responsible persons,” said Leijten. She therefore wants a parliamentary inquiry into the allowance affair.
The allowance affair revolves around the actions of the tax authorities, who victimized parents by wrongfully stopping the childcare allowance. From several studies by Faithful and RTL News hundreds of parents were wrongly identified as fraudulent. The top of the tax authorities even refused to pay the allowances if parents were entitled to them.
Victims had to pay back tens of thousands of euros, lost their homes and relationships broke down. Recently, the Tax and Customs Administration acknowledged that it was guilty of ethnic profiling by using the second nationality as a criterion for intensive checks.